What is a tennis pro?

#6
What is the minimum requirement /wr to be classed as a pro?


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A pro athlete is someone who has been paid $$ for an athletic performance. So, receiving any compensation for winning a tennis match makes you a pro, even if it does not net you ATP/WTA points.

Now, I don't know what a "teaching pro" is exactly, but I assume you just need to pass some kind of exam.
 
#11
A player on tour making a living at it.
Sadly if that was the actual qualification we'd have about 100-150 tennis pros in the world. Most pros in the 1000 make a living off coaching but tour to promote themselves, generate possible sponsorship money and chasing the possible payday. Recall the big deal it was for Dustin Briwn to win a 2nd Round match against Nadal, of course it was good money for him but because it was Nadal he made even more.

You'll also see 1 game sponsorship deals if a low rank player lucks out to play Federer or Nadal early on CC because it'll be prime watch.

Anywho to answer the OP, if you play in an Open tournament and are able to win money you're essentially there. That's the rule of thumb but to nail it home if you make 2 deep runs at money events at Open level you've definetly "made it".

Others will say you need to get an ATP point which can be done by getting to R16 of any Futures. Those tournaments are usually 64 draws so win 2 matches and you're there.
 
#13
Some people will say anyone who gets paid money. But there are many USTA open tournaments with prize money and I wouldn’t consider a weekend warrior who manages to win a few rounds either through withdrawls, luck, or skill and leaves with some small cash a “pro”. With that there are two generally accepted “pros” in tennis. Players who have atleast one ATP point and compete on the circuit/tour home or abroad. And teaching pros who have been certified through either the USPTA or PTR as a professional.
 
#15
It seems by the way people speak and use the word pro implies that a tennis pro is someone who plays itf wta atp tournaments full time regardless of whether they make the top 500 or earn even enough to pay their bus fare home. A person who gives tennis lessons is a tennis coach a person who sells tennis balls is a salesman a person who decides if a ball is out is an umpire let's not confuse those who have committed themselves to the unpaid world of pro tennis.

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#16
It seems by the way people speak and use the word pro implies that a tennis pro is someone who plays itf wta atp tournaments full time regardless of whether they make the top 500 or earn even enough to pay their bus fare home. A person who gives tennis lessons is a tennis coach a person who sells tennis balls is a salesman a person who decides if a ball is out is an umpire let's not confuse those who have committed themselves to the unpaid world of pro tennis.

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Many players in the top 500 of the ATP tour barely break even at the end of the year after travel expenses, coaching etc so just because you’re a pro doesn’t mean you have a lucrative lifestyle. Also any reputable tennis club will refer to their teaching staff as pros. When someone says tennis coach I think of a high school coach or someone at the local park giving some cheap lessons and most likely un-certified. But I agree with rest of your classifications
 
#17
Some people will say anyone who gets paid money. But there are many USTA open tournaments with prize money and I wouldn’t consider a weekend warrior who manages to win a few rounds either through withdrawls, luck, or skill and leaves with some small cash a “pro”. With that there are two generally accepted “pros” in tennis. Players who have atleast one ATP point and compete on the circuit/tour home or abroad. And teaching pros who have been certified through either the USPTA or PTR as a professional.
Falkenberg is no weekend warrior. She has a Santoro looking slice FH.

 
#19
Falkenberg is no weekend warrior. She has a Santoro looking slice FH.

You’re right. She has a WTA profile and ITF experience. So definitely not the weekend warrior I was referring to. Like I said if they compete on tour ATP or WTA they are considered a professional.
 
#20
You’re right. She has a WTA profile and ITF experience. So definitely not the weekend warrior I was referring to. Like I said if they compete on tour ATP or WTA they are considered a professional.
I think your concept is at odds with the current ITF thinking (and that forms the basis of the tour restructuring) which is to lose all "pros" that don't have a realistic chance of transitioning to the ATP/WTA tour level.
 
#22
I think your concept is at odds with the current ITF thinking (and that forms the basis of the tour restructuring) which is to lose all "pros" that don't have a realistic chance of transitioning to the ATP/WTA tour level.
That's exactly right. The current situation is to separate the hobbyists and privateers from people who can compete at the highest level. No offence meant to people like Gail but seeing a match like that being played under professional auspices brings the game into disrepute imo.

I also really hope that the ITF starts to apply some sort of baseline standard to doubles to ensure we see the best players competing in it. I don't expect many people to agree with me here (and that's fine) but I would like doubles players to have a minimum level singles ranking in order to play doubles, and doubles fields and draws made substantially smaller. Doubles could be such an amazing product involving the best players from the ATP and WTA. You just have to see how watchable it is in Hopman Cup, Indian Wells etc etc.
 
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#23
I think your concept is at odds with the current ITF thinking (and that forms the basis of the tour restructuring) which is to lose all "pros" that don't have a realistic chance of transitioning to the ATP/WTA tour level.
So you’re saying that someone who competes on the ATP tour or WTA tour is not a professional tennis player?
 
#24
So you’re saying that someone who competes on the ATP tour or WTA tour is not a professional tennis player?
I don't think that is what @Tshooter is saying.

But there seems to be a bit of confusion here. Gail has a WTA profile but I would be very surprised i she has competed on the WTA Tour except maybe picking up the odd point by winning a match at an event at a lower tier decades ago.

Having an inactive legacy profile on the WTA Tour website and playing current WTA tour level tourneys are 2 completely different things. Gail is not really part of the argument for or against WTA involvement qualifying anything current day because she hasn't played at that level. @Tshooter was just posting some entertaining footage of one of the weirdest ITF Circuit matches ever from a few years ago.
 
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#27
Many players in the top 500 of the ATP tour barely break even at the end of the year after travel expenses, coaching etc so just because you’re a pro doesn’t mean you have a lucrative lifestyle. Also any reputable tennis club will refer to their teaching staff as pros. When someone says tennis coach I think of a high school coach or someone at the local park giving some cheap lessons and most likely un-certified. But I agree with rest of your classifications
Pro teaching staff are still not pro tennis players.

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#28
Some people will say anyone who gets paid money.
Well, that is the definition. You can come up with your own if you’d like, but a player is officially recognized as a professional (namely by schools and amateur only tournaments) once they earn prize money.
 
#30
A teaching pro can be someone who attends and passes a weekend certification class, enabling them to purchase liability insurance. This in case a clinic attendee steps on a ball, protecting him and indemnifying the club they work at from being sued and bankrupted.

In my formative years I used to give $13 to a top local player for lessons, so he could purchase a pint of Smirnoffs. We drive off to a to a court at a nearby playground for the lesson, so he wouldn't encroach on the territory of the teaching pro where we played at. When I encountered him years ago he offered me a lesson, but he was too wasted.
 
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#31
I don't think that is what @Tshooter is saying.

But there seems to be a bit of confusion here. Gail has a WTA profile but I would be very surprised i she has competed on the WTA Tour except maybe picking up the odd point by winning a match at an event at a lower tier decades ago.

Having an inactive legacy profile on the WTA Tour website and playing current WTA tour level tourneys are 2 completely different things. Gail is not really part of the argument for or against WTA involvement qualifying anything current day because she hasn't played at that level. @Tshooter was just posting some entertaining footage of one of the weirdest ITF Circuit matches ever from a few years ago.
I understand that but a WTA point is still a WTA point
 
#34
Become a TTW Pro right now!

1. Post your total one-sided statistics in TTW's General Player Discussion.
2. Join an army (Djokovic's one is pretty popular now).
3. Flame everyone!
4. Ignore string section.
 
#35
The question was. What is the minimum requirement /wr to be classed as a pro?
For the top 100 it's easy to call them pros but where do we draw the line. Or maybe there is no such thing as a pro tennis players only pro events.?

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#36
The question was. What is the minimum requirement /wr to be classed as a pro?
For the top 100 it's easy to call them pros but where do we draw the line. Or maybe there is no such thing as a pro tennis players only pro events.?

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Literally, a professional anything is someone who makes money out of doing it as a career. A professional photographer is paid to photograph. A professional sword swallower is paid to sword swallow. A professional tennis player is paid to play tennis.

As soon as you accept money for your tennis, then you become a professional. That was also true pre-Open era, so you got banned from the amateur-only events (AKA the slams).
 
#37
Literally, a professional anything is someone who makes money out of doing it as a career. A professional photographer is paid to photograph. A professional sword swallower is paid to sword swallow. A professional tennis player is paid to play tennis.

As soon as you accept money for your tennis, then you become a professional. That was also true pre-Open era, so you got banned from the amateur-only events (AKA the slams).
But a professional tennis player isn't paid for playing tennis unless they win and generally a player outside the top 500 is gonna struggle but are still pro so where is the line drawn.

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#38
But a professional tennis player isn't paid for playing tennis unless they win

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Yeah, there has to be some wins before you can be a pro. Someone who's just picked up a racquet and is losing left and right is not a pro.

Once you start winning tournaments and getting that prize money (through winning), you become a pro.
 
#40
A teaching pro can be someone who attends and passes a weekend certification class, enabling them to purchase liability insurance. This in case a clinic attendee steps on a ball, protecting him and indemnifying the club they work at from being sued and bankrupted.

In my formative years I used to give $13 to a top local player for lessons, so he could purchase a pint of Smirnoffs. We drive off to a to a court at a nearby playground for the lesson, so he wouldn't encroach on the territory of the teaching pro where we played at. When I encountered him years ago he offered me a lesson, but he was too wasted.
Love it.

Few club pros are real pro players. Simple math tells you that. Say there's 10,000 players out there who have registered a point last 20 years. Expect more than half won't ever coach and that's being conservative.

Now just in the United States there's roughly 40,000 clubs. Let's say you got 10,000 that are well organised. That should give you all the indication you need.

So most club pros in the western world are about 5.0 players. I don't mean to be an ass but on some of my vacations I've destroyed club pros and I'm only at about a 5-5.5 so yeah.

Setting the bar at 1 ATP point is both reasonable and fair. It's all about how you play it. You got guys in the 200s who make good money because in their country they're high and they market themselves.
 
#41
There is no debate about this for me. Being a professional in whatever it is means consistently making money doing that thing. I would maybe lean towards it being enough to make a living. It's the same with musicians and also with certain talents you may learn such as juggling or mastering a toy such as a yo-yo. If you play tennis/guitar or whaatever but don't make money doing it, its a hobby. If you make money off of it then you're a professional.
 
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